Date Tags 2002au

The apartment we're renting for two weeks in Sydney is smack in the middle of restaurant central. For some curious reason, the block the hotel is on is full of Spanish restaurants. Tapas galore! And it's not just a few--it's every restaurant!

Around the corner on George Street is fast food central. McDonald's . KFC. Burger King. I'm amused that across the street from Burger King is a Hungry Jack's--which is Burger King with a different name. It looks like they're renaming the Hungry Jack's in Australia as they update the logo.

I went to Taco Bell for dinner, and am chowing on a Beef Strip Burrito and a Fiesta Melt. The Fiesta Melt is better known in the US as a quesadilla, but Aussies would totally mangle that pronunciation--they call tortillas tor-TILL-az, and jalapeno sauce is zha-LAP-in-o sauce! The menu must puzzle people... they have a large paper menu that explains all the foods, like Burritos and Chalupas. Taco Bell must be a new concept here; but with 10 stores they must be expanding!

The other food joints are also interesting: McDonald's also has a McCafe in front, where you can get desserty stuff and biscotti and espresso. It's across the street from Starbuck's in front of the cinemas. The Starbuck's has the longest opening hours I've ever seen for a caffeine joint: they close at 11pm! I can't imagine people needing their triple venti lattes at midnight. But then again, this city stays up late. Taco Bell closes at 3am on Friday and Saturday nights, and many bars here don't stop serving alcohol... ever. It's very very easy to stay out until 3:30am, like I did last night yawn

Starbuck's is a recent arrival. Curiously, Australians think that American style espresso is nasty--I've heard it described as "bitter, mean, and thin." The Britney clones at the Starbucks tonight seemed to sure like the arrival of Starbucks, though they were going for the frappucino drinks tonight on this warm summer evening.

Now, lest you think I'm a fast food junkie: if you go around the block the other way towards Darling Harbour, you're in Chinatown, and then one block further is Thaitown. That was last night's dinner! Yum!